Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Harm Reduction as Worldview

October 26, 2021

Treaty 2 – Harm Reduction, simply put, is an approach or intervention that reduces the health and social harms that can be associated with substance use. Provincial services and systems are rigid, oppressive, and ultimately cause harm for Indigenous peoples entangled in them. From a western view, harm reduction tends to be “innovative” and the application of new and different ways of intervening. Indigenous peoples however, have a unique understanding with what is termed, ‘harm reduction’. For Indigenous peoples, harm reduction is embedded in our worldview; it is the way our teachings show us to care for ourselves and one another. It means instead of treating ‘symptoms’, we walk with relatives and love them back to wellness. Our Peacemaking System is built on Anishinaabe laws and principles that center on balance for wellness. Treaty 2 Peacemaking will reduce health and social harms for people struggling with substance use through striving for wellness through intentional attention to living in balance and harmony.

The Peacemaking Circle would love to hear about examples, initiatives, and leaders practicing Harm Reduction in your Nations! Please e-mail to share your nation’s stories.

~ Written on behalf of the Peacemaking Circle

Last modified: October 26, 2021

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